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In partnership with Upstart & Crow Literary Arts Studio

The Environmentalist's Dilemma 


Gramsci once spoke of pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. As we face the real and existential dangers in the climate crisis era, grappling with humanity’s greatest calamity is both daunting… and essential. Award-winning journalist and author Arno Kopecky shares a collection of essays, The Environmentalist’s Dilemma, that help us to acknowledge both sides of the paradox we’re in: the planet may be dying, but humanity’s doing better than ever. So how do we begin to answer questions about how to live within such a paradox?  Should we take down the government, or try to change it from the inside? Is it okay to compare climate change to Hitler? Is hope naive or indispensable? How do you tackle collective delusion? Wise, inquisitive and relatable, this interview with Arno Kopecky will begin to answer some of these queries.

Session Type
Session Tags
Climate Justice, Truth & Storytelling, Education
Date & Time
Wednesday, November 3, 2021, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Rewatch On Demand


Arno Kopecky is an environmental journalist and author whose dispatches from four continents have appeared in the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, the Literary Review of Canada, Reader’s Digest, and others. His last book, The Oil Man and the Sea, chronicled the battle to keep oil tankers out of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest and was shortlisted for the 2014 Governor General’s Award. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Arno Kopecky
Ian Gill is a writer, critic, bookseller, conservationist and co-creator of Salmon Nation. He is principal of Cause+Effect, a Vancouver-based consulting company focused on designing and implementing strategies for large-scale social transformation. Ian’s interest and experience is in media, communications, social innovation, social finance, conservation, and Indigenous community development.

Prior to establishing Cause+Effect, Ian spent almost eighteen years as CEO of Ecotrust in three countries – Canada, the US and Australia. Before establishing Ecotrust Canada in 1994, Ian was a documentary television reporter with CBC Television. Ian earlier spent seven years as a senior reporter and editor with the Vancouver Sun. He is a fellow of Journalistes en Europe (1986-87); a past director of Vancity Community Credit Union; and the author of four books, most recently No News Is Bad News: Canada’s Media Collapse – And What Comes Next. He is a contributing editor of The Tyee and continues to be published in a wide variety of media. He was president of The Discourse (2016-18); an Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University (2015-2019); and a Senior Fellow with the Montreal-based McConnell Foundation (2015). In 2019 he was appointed as the inaugural Dan and Priscilla Wieden Foundation Salmon Nation Storytelling Fellow. In 2020, he co-founded an independent bookstore in Vancouver, Upstart & Crow. He lives in Vancouver and on a small island off the West Coast of Salmon Nation.
Ian Gill